Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Earth 2100: ABC presents the possibility of our Last Century, or can we overcome?

ABC news is presenting the apocalyptic film “Earth 2100” tonight, Tuesday, June 2, 2009, on ABC Network stations. “Is this the last century of our civilization?” To prevent a bad future, you have to first imagine it. The website is here. Bob Woodruff is the host, but Van Jones also appears. The site has an annotated script for the entire program. A preview video is here.

The film, mostly in rotoscopic animation, traces the life of a girl, Lucy, born June 2, 2009, in Miami. In 2012, the city is overrun by dragonflys. In 2015, there are severe gasoline shortages, and a category 5 hurricane hits Miami. World leaders meet and are unable to get beyond “business as usual.”

Ironically, Lucy notes that when she was born, people had already working on these sustainability problems, with solar collectors and green highrise buildings.

Lucy becomes an EMT worker and moves to San Diego and marries “Josh”. She and her husband lead demonstrations against a local desalination company. But cities in Arizona lose their water.

With global warming and drought, there is mass migration, especially from African to Europe, and to the United States from Latin America. In 2040, the refugees make a forced invasion, and the police shoot at the crowd.

The show examines several other failed civilizations, including the Maya, the Roman Empire, and Easter Island. We have no where to go if we fail.

The population reaches 9 billion by 2050, despite the claims of “demographic winter” by social conservatives in developed countries.

Las Vegas (“Cibola”) had been abandoned as Lake Mead had gone dry.

The couple moves to New York but has to drive across a country much of which has become lawless.

For some years the live an idyllic life in “green” New York, as Josh works on the ocean barrier project. There are electric tram lines.

In 2071, there is a methane release from sudden permafrost melting, which accelerates the rise of sea level. Climate change will be non-linear.

Scientists tried to spread sulfur dioxide (as a “cosmic shield”) into the atmosphere and cool the earth. But there is a rebound effect, and sea levels rise quickly. A big noreaster breaks the seawall.

Then there is an epidemic of the “Caspian fever”, which shuts down the entire world economy.

Populations start to go down. By 2085 the power grid and Internet go out, and the US is fragmented into chards, and the Dark Ages begin. Hell becomes “truth realized too late.” People have to live off the land.

Ironically, civilization collapsed even after it seemed to be getting a handle on its problems for about three decades. New York had become a great place to live, before the sudden final collapse. But the tipping point may have been passed a few decades before.

The Purification. It won’t be so bad, or will it? Lucy survives to 2100, and becomes the oldest woman on Earth.

The last fifteen minutes paint the alternative future, of investment, and some sacrifice for the entire country. How about electric cars that get 300 miles per charge. 200 countries meet in Copenhagen in December 2009.

No comments: